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The Akita gets its name from the province of Akita in northern Japan where it is believed that they originated from. Their known existence goes back to the 1600s – a time where the breed guarded the Japanese royalty and were used for hunting fowl and larger game including animals such as bears. The breed was introduced to America by a woman named Helen Keller. The Japanese presented her with an Akita puppy which was the first Akita puppy to be brought to the USA. However, sadly this pup died at a very young age of a viral disease. The Japanese government presented Keller with her first puppy’s older brother after the upsetting ordeal of losing her first pup. After World War Two, American servicemen that had been stationed in Japan brought back more of the remarkable dogs. The American Akita developed into a more robust dog than the Japanese Akita and so was highly valued. Both variations of the breed are historically and well renowned for fearlessness and loyalty. The Bullmastiff was developed in the mid 19th century by English gamekeepers who needed a big, quiet and fearless dog with an ability to track down poachers quickly and a large amount of strength in order to hold them. It is thought that there were a number of dogs bred to be able to develop the perfect dog for what they needed, but it was the Bulldog and Mastiff mix that was the success they were after. The Mastiff had the size, but lacked the aggression they were after and the Bulldog was brave and tenacious but lacked the size needed to knock down and hold a man. They became known as the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog as it worked alongside the gamekeeper and their family. They were bred for their use and temperament. Once poaching declined, the Bullmastiff was used mostly as a guard dog. It wasn’t actually until the 20th century that this breed was bred as a distinct breed instead of a crossbreed.  The Bullmastiff male is generally between 25 and 27 inches at the shoulders and weighs around 110 to 130 pounds. Female Bullmastiffs stand between 24 and 26 inches and weigh around 100 to 120 pounds. The breed has a short and dense coat that offers them good protection from cold weathers and come in three different colour variations of red, fawn or brindle with a dark muzzle and ears. Occasionally, the breed can have a small white mark on their chest. Male Akitas stand at 26 to 28 inches at the shoulder weighing around 85 to 130 pounds. Female Akitas are usually from 24 to 26 inches and weigh between 70 and 110 pounds. Akitas can come in many different coat colours and combinations including black, white, chocolate, combination of colour, brindle or white. They have a double-layer coat with a very dense undercoat and a short topcoat. It is super important to consider the potential health conditions that your dog could be prone to as you will need to be able to afford to care for them as they need. The Akita is a generally healthy dog but can be prone to certain conditions including hip dysplasia, bloat, hypothyroidism and other genetic glandular conditions, and eye problems. The Bullmastiff is also a generally healthy breed, but they can be prone to particular conditions including hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, eye problems, heart defects, kidney stones, bloat, bone conditions, cancer and skin problems due to having sensitive skin.  The Bullmastiff is a very fearless and confident breed but are very obedient to their human’s commands due to their loyalty to their family. They are natural protectors of the home and their family and will respond in an instant if they feel that either of those things are being threatened. As with all dogs, the Bullmastiff needs to be socialised from a very early age in order to have a dog that is well-rounded and to prevent them being as wary of strangers and other dogs. They can make a great family companion and is devoted to all members of the family – they are patient and protective of children. However, due to their size, they can accidentally knock over a small child so this is very important to consider before bringing such a large breed into your home.  The Akita is a bold, confident and strong-willed dog which is extremely devoted and loyal to their family. They are naturally wary of strangers which is due to being bred to guard and protect their family at all costs. They can be aggressive towards other dogs that they are unfamiliar with, especially those of the same sex, so are best suited to a one-dog household. The Akita is affectionate and playful with their family – they long for the companionship and will want to be a part of daily activities. They can be quite mouthy and love to be carrying toys or household items around. An Akita’s strong personality can be overwhelming and so they need an owner that is familiar with their character and is able to handle them well. They are a breed that needs plenty of exercise, both physically and mentally, in order to prevent boredom which could lead to unwanted destructive behaviours. 

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